Make medicines more accessible and affordable for every European. Increase investment in the development of medicines against rare and chronic diseases as well as against paediatric cancers. Learn the lessons from the COVID pandemic and use more European joint procurement. Reduce anti-microbial resistance. Bring the production of medicines back to Europe. These are the EPP Group's main goals in the so-called Pharmaceutical Strategy, which were adopted today in the European Parliament's Environment Committee.
"There are several reasons why not every European citizen has access to affordable medicines now. Delays in the inclusion of drugs into national pricing and reimbursement policies, commercial factors and fragility of the global supply chain", explained the EPP Group's Dolors Montserrat MEP, the Parliament's main negotiator of the file.
"We must change that. We want every patient in the European Union to have access to affordable and innovative medicines. We must align national agencies’ price setting with the approval time of the European Medicines Agency, suggesting a reasonable time limit", she added.
For the EPP Group, it is also important to draw certain lessons from the COVID pandemic for the pharma industry. "We want to promote European joint procurement, as was done for COVID-19 vaccines, for very rare diseases, antimicrobial resistance and paediatric cancers. Member States, when deciding which medicine to authorise for national use and at what price, should also consider whether the product has been produced completely or partially in Europe and if the medicine has a high value for the population, like, for instance, antibiotics. This is how we can reduce our dependency on third countries and avoid a shortage of medicines all together, while fostering a competitive, strategically autonomous European pharma industry", concluded Montserrat.
The European Commission is expected to come forward with the so-called Pharmaceutical Strategy, new rules on how drugs are made, approved and sold in the EU, at the beginning of 2022. The Report adopted today in the Environment Committee details Parliament's demands for the strategy.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States